The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan
6. The Status of the World and the Concept of Maya
object are the two poles of the one Reality. They are not unrelated. The principle of objectivity, mulaprakrti, the unmanifested (avyakta) potentiality of all existence is of the very nature of the creative Logos, Isvara. The eternal "I" confronts the pseudo-eternal "not I," Narayana broods over the waters. As the "not-I," prakrti, is a reflection of the Self, it is subordinate to the Self. When the element of negation is introduced into the Absolute, its inwardness is unfolded in the process of becoming. The original unity becomes pregnant with the whole course of the world.
Cosmic process is the interaction between the two principles of being and non-being. God is the upper limit with the least affection by and complete control of non-being and matter or prakrti is the lower limit with the least affection by being. The whole cosmic process is the Supreme God working on prakrti which is conceived as a positive entity because it has the power of resistance. As resisting form, it is evil. Only in God is it completely penetrated and overcome. In the rest of the created world, it is there in some degree or other, obscuring the light.
The Gita does not uphold a metaphysical dualism; for the principle of non-being is dependent on being. Non-being is a necessary moment in reality for the unfolding of the Supreme. If the world is what it is, it is because of the tension. The world of time and change is ever striving to reach perfection. Non-being which is responsible for the imperfections is a necessary element in the world, for it is the material in which the ideas of God are actualized. The Divine forms (purusa) and matter (prakrti) belong to one spiritual whole. When the whole world is delivered from bondage, when it is lifted into incorruption, when it becomes completely illuminated, the purpose of the Supreme is realized and the world is restored to its origin in pure Being, above all distinctions.
References and Context
- Cp. Proclus who regards matter as a "child of God" which is bound to be transformed into spirit.